NEW PHILADELPHIA — Officials of Buckeye Career Center, with the support of State Senator Jay Hottinger and State Representative Al Landis, said they are pleased to be included in the proposed 2018-2019 Ohio capital budget.

The proposed bill is up for debate in the Ohio House and Ohio Senate and would designate $350,000 for the construction of an Energy Operations facility at Buckeye Career Center. The proposed facility would be detached from BCC’s main building and would tentatively be located on the east side of the campus.

The center would be the new home of the existing high school Energy Operations program, which currently includes 71 students and two instructors. Other high school and adult programs including Natural Resources, Agriculture & Diesel Technology, Commercial Truck, Heavy Equipment/CDL, Emergency Services and Utility Lineman would also benefit from the structure.

"This money would allow us to continue to grow and provide training opportunities to high school students and adults alike," said Superintendent Bob Alsept. "This building project will enable us to continue to offer high quality training to meet the demands of employers who explore, recover, and transmit energy resources."

Buckeye Career Center submitted the grant request to state officials in 2017 and found great support from local lawmakers.

"I am pleased with what we were able to accomplish together for our communities through this Capital Budget," said State Senator Jay Hottinger. Hottinger worked with Representative Landis to get Buckeye’s proposal included in the bill.

"Having met with Superintendent Alsept in late 2017, getting the scope and purpose of the project made it easier to represent on the House side. I worked very closely with Senator Hottinger on the value of the project. We need workforce development. BCC, with this project, can deliver in a big way," said Landis.

"We are so appreciative that Representative Landis and Senator Hottinger saw the value in promoting workforce development. We also appreciate that legislators from around the state, who chose to invest in this project, which will support students from our 11 partner schools that cover Tuscarawas, Carroll, and Holmes Counties. Our Board of Education values our role in providing a skilled workforce to current and future employers. This grant will enhance our efforts to meet the growing needs of our region," said Alsept.

Should the funding be approved by Governor John Kasich, Buckeye would receive the money in July 2018 and would have two years to complete the project, which is still under development by the Buckeye Career Center Board of Education facilities committee.